Wednesday 15 May 2024

What's Wrong With... State of Decay

The fact that this story was originally intended for an earlier season doesn't show very much at all. Where it does, it's the later meddling by Mr Bidmead which shows up. There's all this talk of "the Wasting" for instance, which is never explained and goes nowhere. This was a leftover from when Bidmead attempted to turn the story into a hard sci-fi tale - ditching all the Gothic trappings.
However, director Peter Moffatt only agreed to do the story because of the Gothic stuff, and threatened to drop out. 
Keen to stamp his own mark on the show, JNT wanted no writers or directors from before his tenure, and was already reluctant to use a Terrance Dicks script, but he was keen to use Moffatt whom he knew from other series. He therefore ordered Bidmead to revert to the original Gothic version.

According to the rebels' computer which the Doctor gets working, the Hydrax crashed around the 12th December 1998...
We hear that the war against the giant Vampires took place back in the days of Rassilon, which is supposed to be in the earliest days of the universe. So what is a spaceship from Earth doing flying about in the middle of all this?
Was the Great Vampire capable of changing size? How else could it have infected the three crew and hitched a ride on their ship.

Why did the Three not utterly destroy all that technological equipment if it poses such a threat to them? They simply leave it hanging around for Kalmar and his friends to find and start putting together again.
The Doctor and Romana are a bit slow to realise that the Three are the original crew of the Hydrax and not descendants. The chances of three individuals having three identical future progeny who are still local and connected are surely pretty slim.
And yet they twig that Adric has stowed away almost immediately.
For someone who has lived in a small community on one planet, Adric seems to know a lot about E-Space.
Bit of a coincidence that a ship with -drax in its name should fall foul of Vampires.

The Three Who Rule have been in power for generations, and yet they haven't created a single new recruit in all that time. Aukon then states that the Great One will expect them to have built an army, but all they'll have to show for all those years of rule is Adric - and they don't even manage to convert him.
Aukon acknowledges that they have bred weakness into the population. How long has he known this, and why not done anything about it when he knows what the Great Vampire expects when it awakes?

The captain of guards asks Aukon to supply his bats when the castle comes under attack from the rebels, but the Chancellor refuses - claiming they are needed at the "Arising" ceremony. But when that takes place we see just a single bat attack Romana - with apparently no ill effects to her whatsoever.
The Great Vampire is seen to be moving around long before the ceremony (on the x-ray scanner). It's lying on its front, but when it starts pushing its way up through the ground it looks like it's now on its back.
If the scout ship goes up and straight back down again, shouldn't it crash into the castle where it started from? 
The model work for this shot is very poor.

Other substandard effects this story: the model castle / village is so-so in night scenes, but doesn't convince in daylight. 
The Great Vampire is poorly realised, both as a puppet and as an effects bloke wearing a monster glove; and we see distant stars in front of the TARDIS as it moves through E-Space.
And if E-Space is green - why is the sky on this planet not green at night?

No comments:

Post a Comment